Joseph Mallord William Turner

Lausanne and Lake Geneva, from the West


Not on display

Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Graphite, watercolour and pen on paper
Support: 236 × 334 mm
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Turner Bequest CCCXXXIV 4

Display caption

It was only in Turner’s lifetime that the Swiss landscape became important as a theme for painters and poets. From the 1770s onwards successive generations of artists turned to its mountains and vast, still lakes in search of subjects that fitted contemporary demands for ‘Sublime’ grandeur.

Turner visited Switzerland during his first Continental tour in 1802, when he was twenty-seven. A trip in 1836 reawakened his interest and from 1841–4, in his late sixties, he explored Swiss themes intensively. Lausanne, on a steep slope leading to the famously serene Lake Geneva, was one of Turner’s favourite subjects during his 1841 trip.

Gallery label, September 2004

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